KU students building zero energy house

The architecture program plans to hold a public exhibition for its model home in April.
Published: Feb. 1, 2023 at 5:23 PM CST
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LAWRENCE, Kan. (WIBW) - KU is one of 20 colleges still competing in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon.

Architecture students are designing and building a completely zero energy house.

The University of Kansas School of Architecture is currently constructing a model house made out of entirely sustainable materials.

“So this is Studio Haven, it’s a 500 foot model house that we’re doing right now for the University of Kansas Design Build program and currently we’re in the phase of putting up the walls behind us,” said KU Architecture student and Community Outreach Coordinator for Dirt Works studio, Micah Ramsay.

That model will eventually be a full-scale structure.

“Our insulation is massive... we use sustainable insulation instead of like fibers and stuff that’s oil-based. Ours is actually wood-based. It’s a thing called TimberHP,” Ramsay said.

Micah Ramsay says the home will actually generate enough energy to power neighboring buildings.

“Not just zero energy, it’s actually gonna put more energy out so we have many sustainable technologies. Many things that are a bit different from normal houses but can be used in all different types of houses,” said Ramsay.

Ramsay hopes other developers who see the house once finished will consider more clean energy options when building.

“This is an awesome opportunity for the community to come look in April as well as seeing the sustainable technologies that are simple, easy, cheap, and for everyone to use right now. And I hope this will help change some people’s minds about everything.”

Mostly, the students are excited to be playing a part in the construction process.

“This is amazing. So in architecture as a student, a lot of our stuff is designed based hypothetical stuff. With design build, you design it and then you get to build it with your own hands. And a project like this is a one in a lifetime opportunity to work with the companies that we’re working with, work with the school as well as the U.S. Department of Energy,” Ramsay said.

The architecture program plans to hold a public exhibition for its model home in April.